The Conundrum of Competing Rights, Carolyn Anderson

This is Anderson’s earliest article about the Follies case, written for the Journal of University Film Association, and in which she outlines the basic problem of competing first and fourth amendment rights (freedom of speech and privacy respectively), and cites this as a common conundrum that faces documentary filmmakers, but one that usually remains outside the courts. The point of the article is that the filmmaker and subjects (and audience) often have equally valid but competing rights. The article does not really add anything to the debate about informed consent, but it does point out that part of the reason why the authorities so tried so passionately to have the film restrained (even destroyed) was in fact a bid to try and protect themselves from the political embarrassment not only of the content of the film (which shows gross mismanagement at a state institution) but also the way Wiseman was able to obtain permission to film. Thus the charges of deviousness, misrepresentation and exploitation aimed at Wiseman.

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